Young guns fight for golf's NSW Open crown

Five players, three shots, one Kel Nagle Cup - that's the equation for what promises to be a thrilling finale to golf's NSW Open.

30-Nov-2019 By Australian Associated Press
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A final round shootout between two of Australian golf's young guns vying for their first professional win could decide the NSW Open at Twins Creeks Golf and Country Club.

Picton's Justin Warren shone on day three with the lowest round of 64, which included seven birdies and eagle, to be tied for the clubhouse lead with Min Woo Lee, who is also looking to etch his name on the Kel Nagel Cup.

Both are at 17 under with a swag of youngsters within striking distance along with veterans Josh Younger (-16), Andrew Dodt (-14) and Jake Higginbottom (-11).

Warren is hoping to erase memories of his performance four years ago when he led into the final round only to succumb to inexperience and risk-taking.

"I look back at that day and I hit a lot of shots I just wouldn't hit these days, going for pins and being aggressive with drivers," said the 24-year-old, who is enjoying his first full year as a professional after completing college in the US.

"That day four years ago served me a lot and I'm going to draw on that (on Sunday) and know when to go and be safe."

One shot back is Shellharbour's Travis Smyth who added a six-under 66 to his previous rounds of 65 and 69.

Playing together, Smyth and Warren dominated a course that was softer and more user-friendly without the winds and fierce temperatures.

"It makes you feel like you can keep on going when you are playing with someone that's doing that well," said Smyth, 24.

The most dangerous challenge could come from WA's Min Woo Lee who fired a four-under 68 in a round where he felt he struggled.

"I didn't feel good over the ball or over the putter today, but hopefully I can fix that up in the next hour (on the range) and get it going tomorrow," said the 21-year-old.

Also, within striking distance is the experienced pair of Josh Younger (-16), and Andrew Dodt (-14) who played a steady even-par round following his course record 61 on Friday.

LEADERBOARD AFTER ROUND 3:

-17 Min Woo Lee (WA)

-17 Justin Warren (NSW)

-16 Josh Younger (VIC)

-16 Travis Smyth (NSW)

-14 Andrew Dodt (NSW)

-11 Jake Higginbottom (NSW)

-10 Brett Rankin (QLD)

-10 Max McCardle (SA)


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